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Wills, Trusts & Probate News

 

Probate? What's that?

Gregory John
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When I tell friends I'm a solicitor and they ask what I specialise in, I often find that the answer I give is often followed by another question. I deal with Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Estate Planning, Trusts and…Probate. "What is...

The soaring costs of funerals

Katie Hayden
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According to recent reports, The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and The Treasury are to review funeral costs 'to ensure that people are not getting a bad deal.' A consultation is due to be launched to investigate the possibility of...

DIY may mean increased costs?

Gregory John
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I am not a handy man. If I try to undertake DIY it is most likely that I am going to hurt myself, damage something, hurt someone else or all of the above. I have learnt from experience that, in the long term, it is cheaper for me to pay someone who knows...

Heir Hunters - how the state could get your estate

Hollie Allcorn
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Every year, thousands of people die intestate - without leaving a Will. In rare circumstances where a person dies without at least one living relative, the estate will, after a period of 12 years, go to the Crown. However, there are companies of professional...

Pension and assets, who gets them?

Lisa Carter
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Your pension fund passes to who you want but what about the rest of your assets? Most people are aware that their pension pots will pass to a certain person on their death due to the administrative process of opening the fund - usually an individual will...

What does intestate mean for you?

Lisa Carter
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October 2014 saw the biggest changes in probate law’s history come into effect. While the overhaul meant no real difference to those with minimal assets, for the partners of those who died without making a will and who have more assets, it meant...

Sir Ken Dodd has the last Laugh!

Georgia Gann
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Whether you were a fan of his or not, it would have been hard to miss the news that comedy legend Sir Ken Dodd sadly passed away on Sunday at the age of 90. It has been widely reported that Sir Ken's fortune is estimated to be within the region of...

Are you due a refund for Power of Attorney fees?

Georgia Gann
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From April 2017 the Registration Fee was reduced to £82 as The Ministry of Justice admitted that  between 2013 and 2017 people had been charged more that the cost of processing the applications. Individuals, or their attorneys, who made either a...

"Death, the elephant in the corner?"

Gregory John
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When I start these blogs, I often make the generic comment that "death" is a topic that we do not enjoy talking about; that it is not a dinner table conversation starter. However, the upcoming Pixar film Coco appears to be seeking to buck that...

Don't demonise trusts!

Bronwyn Prior
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For those whose only contact with trusts is through the media, it is easy to paint trusts in a negative light. Often when we think of them at all, it is in the context of such events as the Panama Papers and the words ‘offshore’ and ‘tax...

Trust Registration Service - No penalty for late registration!

Marc Dorsett
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" 'Curiouser and curiouser!' cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English);"  Ok, so the movement of another Trust Registration Service deadline may not actually be that...

Christmas gifts that keep on giving

Lisa Carter
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Christmas shopping usually means a visit to the high street or browsing online retailers, but the season of giving can be a good time to make sure you’re maximising your opportunities for inheritance tax reliefs, whether to family, friends or charity,...

Lasting Powers of Attorney - a better alternative to living wills?

Gregory John
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Although I do not make a habit of thinking about my own demise, one thing I do know is that, when my time comes, I want it to be as quick and painless as possible. Whether "death" is a hot discussion topic for you or not I'd imagine most...

LEI Registration: Legal Entity Identifier - Trusts

Marc Dorsett
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What is an LEI? The LEI (Legal Entity Identifier) is an initiative which was started in August 2013 giving every legal entity a 20-charater alphanumeric reference code. The purpose of creating the LEI is to generate a global referenced data system to...

Unmarried woman wins legal fight!

Gregory John
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The topic of marriage can often be a difficult subject for couples in today's society. If you are in a long term relationship you could often be met with a steady stream of "When's?" and "Why not's?" from both friends and...

Chancellor announces get-fit regime

Marc Dorsett
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An extra £3 billion to prepare for Brexit over the next two years and a vision of an economy that is ‘fit for the future’ were at the heart of the Chancellor’s Autumn statement. And despite downgrading growth and productivity...

How to avoid dementia tax!

Gregory John
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Chancellor Philip Hammond is coming under increasing pressure to raise more money to fund long-term social care. Dispatches released a programme on Channel 4 that aired on Monday night at 8.00pm on the so-called 'Dementia Tax'.  The programme...

Trust Registration Deadline extended again!

Marc Dorsett
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HMRC have announced yet another extension to the Trust Registration Service (TRS) deadline in relation to trusts which incur a first time income tax or capital gains tax liability in 2016/17. Originally the deadline was 5 October 2017 and this was extended...

Be sure to find your Will

Georgia Gann
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In recent years TV programmes such as Heir Hunters have highlighted how many Estates end up with the Government's Bona Vacantia Division or being distributed incorrectly as the Deceased's last Will cannot be found. To avoid your Estate being...

Do I still need a Will if I don't have any assets?

Hollie Allcorn
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One of the common misconceptions preventing people from putting a Will in place is the view that they don't have anything to leave, for example a property or savings. However, regardless of age or personal circumstances very few people have nothing to...

Is it costing you to not talk about money?

Bronwyn Prior
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While we might be happy to talk about politics and a vast array of personal matters, when it comes to finances, we are unlikely to what to share the details of our life. Indeed a Fidelity Investments study among retiring couples showed that 43% couldn't...

Are you one of the 60%?

Gregory John
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It will not come as a surprise to you that whether I'm speaking with my clients or spending time with friends, people do not like talking about death. No one likes to consider their own mortality and the subject of death isn't one we want to discuss...

Your 'digital assets' - what are they and what will happen to them when you die?

Lily Measures
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So much of our lives are tied up in social media nowadays, but the idea of leaving a ‘digital legacy’ on Facebook or Twitter is hardly ever discussed. What is a digital asset? A digital asset, in simple terms, is content owned by an individual...

Trust Registration Service - Deadline extension

Marc Dorsett
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HMRC have announced that the deadline for registering a Trust on the new Trust Registration Service (TRS) is to be extended for this year. Ordinarily, HMRC should be notified of a new Trust by 5 October following the end of the tax year in which there is a...

What's mine is mine!

Steven Payne
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The Court of Appeal has upheld the High Court's decision on a financial remedy order in favour of the husband after a 23 year marriage, on the grounds that most of the property was owned by him before the marriage began.   In August this year in...

How your Will is affected by your marriage or divorce

Steven Payne
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In an ideal world, all adults at whatever age and stage of their lives should make a Will. If the worst happens this means that your loved ones would be able to deal with your estate in accordance with your wishes and feelings.    You may have...

What is the additional permitted subscription allowance?

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The Additional Permitted Subscription (APS) allowance, also known as the Inherited ISA allowance, lets you make contributions to an Individual Savings Account (ISA) on top of your normal annual ISA allowance based on the ISA investments held by your spouse or partner on their death.

Trust Registration Service - for agents

Marc Dorsett
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The Trust Registration Service ("TRS") has been online for a little over a month now. So far, only Trustees themselves can actually register a Trust. This is fine if the Trustees (well, at least one anyway) are au fait with completing online...

Where there's a will, there's a way

Lisa Carter
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When thinking of making a will, the idea of a Victorian lawyer taking down the last instructions at the bedside still springs to mind for many people.  And the 19th century lawyer would find things pretty much as they were if they time travelled to...

Online Trust Registration now available - for some

Marc Dorsett
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Most people have heard of "trusts". Often they are assumed to be extremely complex and derived by lawyers who like to over complicate matters. The truth is that a trust can be one of the most useful tools available to individuals and can be used to...

Mental Capacity: Are you leaving it too late?

Lisa Carter
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We live in a society where health and wellness are “on trend”. People of all ages are doing more to look after their bodies; they are heading down to the gym and they are eating whatever “superfood” the media is suggesting. In...

The end of Wills as we know them?

Lisa Carter
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The Law Commission for England and Wales has released a consultation about possible reforms regarding the making of Wills claiming it should be brought into the ‘modern world’. The current law governing the drafting of a Will dates back to the...

Who acts as executor if there is no will?

Lisa Carter
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Around two-thirds of British adults do not have a Will and as many as a third of us die without leaving one. This is known as dying “intestate” and can leave the family, friends and other potential beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate in...

Who will look after my children if I have not appointed guardians?

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If you have children under the age of eighteen you can appoint guardians to look after your children in the event that on your death there is no surviving parent with Parental Responsibility. Many people believe that their children will automatically be...

When do you apply for a deputyship application?

Georgia Gann
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If a friend, loved one or yourself lost the capacity to manage financial affairs and either an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) or a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) has not been put in place, a deputyship application is the next step. A Deputyship...

Life Interest Trust

Lisa Carter
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A Life Interest Trust should be considered if, for example: you want to protect your assets against care fees; you have children from a previous relationship and want to provide for your new spouse but also want to ensure your children inherit your...

Trust Registration

Marc Dorsett
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Individuals often create Trusts for a variety of reasons. Each time a new Trust is created it must be registered with HMRC who will then issue the Trustees with a Unique Taxpayer Reference. This will be needed when dealing with HMRC, including any required...

What are Lasting Powers of Attorney and why are they important?

Lisa Carter
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Studies show that only 5% of the population are prepared for mental capacity issues in the future. It is important to prepare for our future and as we get older the risk of developing dementia increases.  Currently an estimated 850,000 people have been...

Probate fees change update

Bronwyn Prior
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The proposed changes to probate fees which were to take effect in May 2017, have been delayed indefinitely as there is insufficient time for the legislation to pass through Parliament before the general election.

 

Court rules in favour of charities against daughter excluded from her mother's Will

Spencer Davis
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Three animal charities have won an appeal at the Supreme Court against a daughter cut out of her mother's Will. The Supreme Court is the highest appeal court in the UK.

 

Probate Fees Update

Bronwyn Prior
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Guidance has now been provided by the Probate Registries relating to the practical implementation of the increase in probate fees announced by the Ministry of Justice on the 24th February 2017.

New Registry fees for Grants of Probate

Bronwyn Prior
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The Ministry of Justice announced on Friday, 24th February that the proposed changes to Registry fees for Grants of Probate will go ahead in May 2017. The additional fees are intended to contribute to the operating costs of Her Majesty's Courts and...